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Sen. Villanueva for VP? Why not?

This early, the grapevine is abuzz with rumors about who will be gunning for the presidency and vice presidency in 2022, as well as who might be running in tandem with who.

Usually, not much attention is given to whoever may be interested in the vice presidential slot, until now.

But now, the public is giving more weight on the importance of the role of the Vice President in our government. This is the reason why the VP is normally given a Cabinet position. So he or she could be of help to the President.

A lot of names are already cropping up but most of them are the so-called ‘usuals.’ Nothing new. Until I heard the name of Senator Joel Villanueva making it to the list of possible choices for Vice President.

Many were surprised. In fact, I heard even the good Senator himself was surprised upon hearing the news for the first time and said it is too early to think about such a possibility.

As of now, no one knows for sure whether or not he may give in to those prodding him. Assuming he is interested in the position, does he qualify?

Apart from what is already common knowledge –his clean track record as a public servant, being a team player and his active involvement in and support to issues concerning job creation, food provision, education, security and a better future- we can also look into his performance in the Senate.

According to the internet, he was able to pass laws on the following: Philippine Qualification Framework, National Tech Voc Day, Occupational Safety and Health Standards, Telecommuting Act, Tulong Trabaho Act, First Time Jobseekers, Office of Social Welfare Attachè, Service Charges in Hotels and Establishments in Distribution, Salary Standardization V, Amendments to the School Calendar Act, Values Education in K-12 Curriculum and Doctor Para sa Bayan.

Given the issues involved in the laws he had crafted, it can easily be concluded that Senator Villanueva is indeed, in touch with the grassroots and the pulse of the ordinary masses. He knows exactly what the people need and effectivel used his position to give them what they deserve.

Before becoming a Senator in 2016, Villanueva was was the youngest member of the House of Representatives when he assumed office in February 2002 and served for three straight terms. He was only 26 then but made sure that his voice was heard, specially when it came to issues about corruption. Villanueva was never a member of the so-called ‘silent bloc.’

From 2010 to 2015, Villanueva became Director General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA, a little known agency of government at that time. TESDA is tasked to both manage and supervise the Philippines’ Technical Education and Skills Development, with the aim of arming the Filipino workforce with “world-class competence and positive work values” and to provide quality technical-educational and skills development through its direction, policies, and programs.

Through his hard work and accomplishments, TESDA became highly-relevant popular and so did Villanueva, specially when he introduced TechVoc or technical vocational courses for free, for those who cannot afford the pricey costs outside of TESDA.

In fact, he earned the moniker ‘TESDA man’ and it was this proof of efficiency that brought him all the way to the Senate when he ran in 2016 and handily won with 18,459,222 votes, ranking second highest in the said polls.

Above all these, Sen. Villanueva is a God-fearing lawmaker. He is an ideal son and father, husband brother rolled into one.

Before joining government, he was a pastor holding a masteral in Business Administration from the Harvard University in Massachusetts.

He also played for the Philippine national team and the varsity team of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), which also happens to be my alma mater.

Should Sen. Villanueva consider and finally decides to run for VP, he just might win and when he does, I am certain he will make that office matter, just like what he did with TESDA. More importantly, he will not be like any other typical VPs who pray for their President to trip and fall head first. Hahahah.


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Itchie G. Cabayan
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